Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

Archive for the ‘Determined’ Category

Determined To Be With Jesus

Tuesday, 2019-04-16

Bible Reference: Mark 2:2-5
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: ….While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

OBSERVATION: The determination of these men carrying the paraplegic is to be admired. They didn’t let the crowds stop them, nor the leaders that were probably there helping with crowd control. They didn’t let the walls of the building stop them, for they got up on the roof with the man on the stretcher. The roof was no hindrance, for they dug a hole through it that was large enough to fit a stretcher through it – probably 80″ by 30″ or more. They had a determination to get their friend before Jesus, no matter what obstacles stood in their way.

APPLICATION: I wonder how disappointed the men were after going through all that they did, yet when Jesus saw the young man He didn’t immediately address the issue of paralysis, but rather attended to the condition of his heart and his readiness to meet God. I wonder how much this story parallels our earnest prayers to God, where we are concerned for our family and friends’ welfare or health, but seldom show deep concern for the salvation of their soul for eternity? Would we ‘go to bat’ over their salvation as much as we would for other things in their life that we feel might impact their normal living here on earth? How often do we forget that the things of this earth are temporal and could very easily be gone today or tomorrow? Yet the condition of their soul will determine their eternity. Should we be concerned for the physical, financial and personal welfare of our friends? If we didn’t then one would question if they are truly our friends, but I believe Jesus showed the Pharisees, and is showing us, that there is one concern that trumps all other concerns in life, and that is the spiritual condition of the individual. When you know that your friend is ready to meet their Savior and Lord, and that they are living daily to be more like Him here on earth, then all other needs will fall into place, for God cares intimately for His children and He will not bring anything on us beyond what we can bear, nor will He burden us with anything that will not bring glory to Himself. So friends, let me encourage you this Easter weekend, to look just a little differently at those you love and will spend time with this weekend. Look beyond their physical and material needs and pray with them about their spiritual needs, should there be a need to do that. Our greatest need in life is to be the individual that God designed us to be – one that will worship Him and bring glory to Him, in everything we do, until Jesus returns to take us all home to heaven to spend eternity with He and His Father. I’m ready for that reunion friends, and I want each of you, and all of my family and friends to also be ready to join me for that meeting at the foot of the cross! Oh ‘What a Day That will Be’!

PRAYER: Than You Jesus for all that You willingly did that very first ‘Good Friday’ and the glory of that first ‘Easter’ morning! As we celebrate the events of that occasion again this year, I pray that although we will be touched by the drama of all that You went through, yet we will never lose sight of the fact that You did it all for us. Thank You Lord Jesus! I am eternally grateful Heavenly Father! In much the same way that You were willing to do whatever it took to save Your children from the awful stain of sin and damnation, I pray that each of us will commit to being so concerned about our family and friends that we would recommit to sharing Your love with them and allowing them to see the meaning of the cross and the possibilities of their eternity with You. There was nothing more important to You Lord Jesus. I pray that we would be very much the same in our concern for others. May You be glorified and lifted up this weekend, for I ask these things in the precious name of the crucified, yet risen Lord Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Time to Meet With The Lord

Wednesday, 2019-04-03

Bible Reference: Exodus 34:23-24
Translation: New International Version (NIV)

Bible Text: 23 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God.

OBSERVATION: This is an interesting meeting Moses had with the Lord. After the last similar meeting, Moses returned to his people, and became so angry at finding them worshiping idols again, that he threw down the stones upon which God had written the Ten Commandments. God had Moses write the Commandments on the stones this time, but He also ordered Moses to gather the men together and meet with Him (God) three times per year while they attended festivals. It sounds like God wants time together with His leaders!

APPLICATION: It is extremely challenging to get men out to church on the weekends, and especially at midweek prayer and Bible study. However, some time ago we were able to take a group from our church to a Bible based, Spirit led, prayer conference for approximately two full days. These days were filled with the Word of God, as Scripture was shared by each participant; songs prompted by the Holy Spirit; and prayer from the heart of each attendee, as prompted by God. No agenda, just waiting before the Lord and obeying the leading of His Holy Spirit. What might seem amazing to many, is that the crowd doubled in size the second year! What a sweet, Holy Ghost filled, time with the Lord! We returned to our church fired up, renewed and ready for the Lord to continue His work in and through us. Being a part of our two days of prayer, helped me to identify with what God was telling Moses to do. I wonder, if your pastor organized a get-away at your church: How many men would sacrifice vacation time to go and spend devoted time with the Lord? How many wives or girlfriends would encourage husbands or boyfriends to please go and participate? How many employers would welcome the time off for employees that they suspect would return and pray for the success of their business? Friends, I wonder how many gods we place before the God of this universe when we can’t find time for church services over the weekend or a discipleship class during the week? We tend to blame it on ‘time’, but perhaps the word ‘priority’ might better explain your shortcoming! Imagine: Lord, please forgive me that I made it a priority to take my family to the beach today/took my wife shopping today/went to have lunch with old friends today; played golf today…. but didn’t make it a priority to take my family to church. Can we, in all good conscience, add to the end of those excuses: ‘but bless me anyway and guide the thoughts of my troubled son/daughter this week’??? Friends, I believe that we are either all for God, or we’re not. I know that we can’t be at every single church gathering, but sincerely before God, we must be ready to answer His question on the priorities of our lives. Please consider taking time away to draw close to God, so that He might draw close to you. I don’t believe that there could be one thing more strengthening for your relationship with God, which will also enrich your relationship with your family and coworkers.

PRAYER: Lord God, please forgive us for the many excuses we come up with regarding our priorities. Too often You are placed at the bottom of the list, or as a last resort. This must be turned around if we ever expect to draw close to You, or encourage/convince an unbeliever. Please give us strength, boldness and self-determination to serve You wholeheartedly and without excuses. You gave up Your life for us, how much more can we do in return? Give Your children boldness and commitment today I sincerely beg of You dear God, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Your Heart Determines The Course of Your Life

Tuesday, 2019-04-02

Bible Reference: Proverbs 4:20-22
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: ^20 My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. 21 Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, 22 for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. 23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

OBSERVATION: From deep within our heart, words spew from our mouths, and actions that may either make us proud, or ashamed, when we stand before the Master of this universe. God knew this would happen, so in His Word He warned us to be careful of what we allow into our lives. With so much emphasis on the things of this world bombarding us every day, we must stop and analyze how we are doing in this critical aspect of our lives.

APPLICATION: There are sayings that we hear from time to time that are aligned with this Scripture today: ‘from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks’; ‘garbage in, garbage out’; ‘actions speak louder than words’; etc. Each of these sayings indicate that you could expect no better from a person than what is bottled up inside of their heart. So from where is the heart ‘fed’? Allow me to suggest that hanging around a bar will feed your mind, soul and heart with things that the frequent attenders say; the way they act; and the priorities they display while in your presence. Spending 8+ hours per day around your coworkers, will influence your life with certain attributes of theirs, and you will find yourself with some of their words and/or behavior. Spending many hours around God’s people at church or church events, will do the same as already shared. Studying God’s Word and allowing it to saturate your mind and your heart, will draw you closer to God, and will energize you to follow His instructions and share His goodness that becomes more and more obvious as you learn more about Him. Friends, it is very obvious that we are influenced by those we spend time with, or have a desire to imitate. So I believe the key takeaway in this devotional today, is that we evaluate what our priorities are. That we stop making excuses and strive for the image of God to be displayed through us. Never fool yourself into telling someone the lie that you just didn’t have time for something that really should take a precedence in your day. Try replacing the words ‘I didn’t have time’ with ‘it just wasn’t a priority for me’. Consider time with the Lord – imagine telling God at the end of the day that you are very sorry, but spending time in His Word, and in prayer to Him, just was not a priority. Friends, we choose what we will do. You may have chosen to sleep in, or go to the gym, or have breakfast with the guys during the time that you had set aside for a devotional time with God. However, if it was really a priority in your life, imagine how you would have moved things around to accommodate. So let me encourage you today to prioritize what goes into your heart. Fill it with the goodness of the Lord, and the awesome promise of His return. Can you imagine what will come out of you in words and actions? Can you imagine how God will be glorified? It’s all up to you my friend!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, may our hearts be so filled with You and Your goodness, that our whole outlook on life will change, and others who cross our paths will be infected by Your love being extended through us. Oh that You might be lifted up because of all that You will accomplish through us today, for this is my humble prayer and sincere plea, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

How To Build Up Your Lives

Thursday, November 22, 2918

Bible Reference: Jude 20-23
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 20 But you, dear friends, must build up your lives ever more strongly upon the foundation of our holy faith, learning to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. 21 Stay always within the boundaries where God’s love can reach and bless you. Wait patiently for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. 22 Try to help those who argue against you. Be merciful to those who doubt. 23 Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them, but be careful that you yourselves aren’t pulled along into their sins. Hate every trace of their sin while being merciful to them as sinners.

OBSERVATION: I can’t imagine any of us not wanting to build ourselves up! In this small, one chapter, book of Jude, he tells us that we should lean on our faith to build ourselves up. Sounds simple, but Jude goes on to share what the results might be if we truly tap into our faith in Christ. Well worth our time to meditate on this friends.

APPLICATION: God is speaking to us through His servant Jude, as we meditate on this brief, one chapter book. I believe it is very apparent that Jude is the brother of James, because just as we heard from James about how faith will lead to action, we also see that Jude is sharing that we can be encouraged and edified through our faith. However, as this occurs, we will see some changes starting to occur in our lives, such as: (1) We will make a concerted effort to stay right with God, so that we might soak in His goodness. The Scripture says that we will not want to find ourselves out of the reach of God’s love and goodness; (2) Stand in readiness of what’s in store for us. Imagine someone standing on a corner waiting for a bus. You can look at them and know that they are not just hanging around watching the cars pass by. We also should be a prepared people waiting in anticipation of our new home prepared just for us, with our Master – our Lord and Savior, as the loving host! (3) Our demeanor should be such that, armed with the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to help those poised to argue. Imagine the change in attitude from our ‘old’ selves when we had to counter their arguments! (4) We will be more merciful to those who doubt. Remember, before Christ, how obnoxious we got with those same individuals? We can thank God every day for softening hardened hearts with rotten attitudes. (5) With God’s grace, we will see the urgency to save the lost. I love this translation that tells us to get serious about snatching some from the very flames of hell. And then (6) We will see such value in loving the sinner, but hating the sin. This is especially hard for humans, who generally feel like they have everything in life together. But let’s also remember that we are now a new people in Christ – The only One that truly has all things perfectly put together!      Friends, I believe that we could easily see from this Scripture today that all things are possible – through Christ. I believe that our hearts should also be challenged into realizing that if we are still trying to do life like we have always done, then perhaps we need to truly ask Jesus into our heart, for these changes will only occur by His grace and through His power alone. Let me encourage you today to know Christ, and know the peace, love and understanding that Jude shared with us today.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich, so blessed, so full and free. I need thee every hour, blessed Lord. Hear my cry and change my heart, my attitude and my will. For those who will read this devotional today and can’t imagine the joy that fills my soul, please help them to see You precious Lord, and have a desire to know You personally, so that You may work miraculously in their lives also. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

‘GUILTY’ of Praying?

Tuesday, 2018-11-13

Scripture

Bible Reference: Daniel 6:10-11

Bible Text: 10 When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God. 11 The conspirators came and found him praying, asking God for help.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Many of us meditating on this scripture today probably don’t have any state laws prohibiting us from any religious activities, but I wonder when last we could have possibly been found guilty of ‘praying’? Over in Philippians 4:6 we are told to not fret or worry about anything, but instead ‘pray’ about everything, yet in a country where we are free to pray and worship the God of this universe, we probably deal more with depression and anxiety than anything else. Daniel shows us that in spite of man’s efforts to hinder his relationship with his God, that nothing would separate him from the love of his Lord. I would encourage each of us to take particular note of this, because it doesn’t take much to hinder us in our prayer life. Of course I could only speak to our corporate prayer life, but it is sad that our midweek prayer and Bible study is attended by only a very small percentage of our congregation. In fact, so poorly attended that I am reminded by the words of a pastor in my younger life, who said that it looks like the church at large has voted to cancel the service, for the absence of the vast majority speaks volumes about how they feel about corporate prayer meetings. In fact, I wonder how God must feel when He looks at our corporate prayer meeting attendance, for He said through His servant in 1 Thessalonians 5:18Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you, who belong to Christ Jesus, to live‘. So friends I would challenge you to seriously consider and declare who you are claiming as your King; your Lord; and your Master. Have you personally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? God’s Word tells us that if you have, then you would have a desire to ‘pray all the time’. If your ‘love-for-God’ meter is measured by your prayer life, are you proud of the love you show to God every day? How about your concern for the church as a whole, do you attend corporate prayer enough to support its survival and its outreach into your community? Is your pastor empowered because of your prayers for him? Daniel maintained his prayer life in spite of a new law being enacted that he knew could have led to his imprisonment. How valid do you feel your excuses are for not attending your corporate prayer services, compared to Daniel’s commitment in the circumstances he was under?

Prayer

Lord God, we are a sorry bunch, considering all the gracious gifts that You bless us with every day, compared to the uncaring attitude we extend in returning thanks to You. Friends are dying every day without Jesus, and ashamedly we acknowledge that our prayers and our influence in their lives could have made a difference. We have read, heard and seen the power of prayer, yet many have chosen to ignore its power through their attendance and commitment to pray corporately. Please forgive us Lord. I feel like we are witnessing the greatest need for revival probably in the life of Your church here on earth. Only those who have actually accepted you as Lord can be ‘revived’, so Lord, please begin a great work in the life of Your church – Your people. May Your children be reminded of the power of prayer, and their obligation to converse with their Master. We need you heavenly Father, revive Your church again, I pray. AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Never Give Up

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (TLB)

TEXT:  16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. 17 These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever! 18 So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

OBSERVATION:   Paul knew that some of his congregants were getting discouraged, and there may be the threat of them giving up on all that he had taught them, and in all that he had shared with them from his personal experiences. Of course God knew that we, His children today, would also need this advice, so He inspired Paul to go ahead and include this advice in His Word for our good. Therefore, we will meditate on this for a few moments today so that we may grow in this area of our life….

APPLICATION:   What do you suppose might cause us to give up on the commitments we make, or the projects that we set out to do? Here are some of the excuses that I’ve heard, or perhaps used, in the past: 

  • It must have been a weak moment for me when I committed to that!
  • They oversold that idea to me, it has never worked the way they sold it to me;
  • I wasn’t as brave and outspoken as I thought I would be;
  • I’m just not ‘cut out’ for that;
  • Others are so much better at that, why should I bother;
  • I’m not in their social status. I’m just a poor man from ____ but they are the queen, king, president, senator, etc, They’ll never listen to me;
  • It brings nothing but stress on me, so I must redirect my energies;

Friends, it is not my intent to analyze each of the above, because I don’t have all of the answers. But I really believe that we occasionally need reminding that when we are involved in God’s work, let’s remember to always stay focused on whose work it is, and on who gives us the power to do His work. Furthermore, we might often set our goals on what we could expect from our ‘God’ assignments. Is that really the way this should work? Shouldn’t we keep doing what He has led us to do, knowing that He cares for us all, especially the unsaved children that He is sending us after? I believe this may be one of the greatest disappointments for the Christian, is that we become despondent when our goals are not achieved, and we often want to give up. I seriously believe that when God said that we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel, He didn’t leave that up to us to decide which country, or nationality, or gender, or color, or the state of how many are being mislead by unorthodox religions. I really believe that we should be reminded daily that God looks across this great big world and He sees the beauty of every child that He has created, in His image, and He probably whispers to each one ‘I still love you’, regardless of what they may be doing or whatever religion they may be practicing. Sure, I know that He is saddened by many of the things that are misleading and keeping these children from Him, but they were designed and placed here by God, and He loves them as His created child. So as children of God, why are we using that as one of our excuses on why we don’t minister to all that we come into contact with?  Let’s remember, everyone needs the Lord, and if we have the ultimate power in us that could help us reach ‘everyone‘, then we are ready to do God’s assigned work for us! No excuses, and no reason to consider giving up!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, I believe that too often we listen to Satan’s lie that things are so much different now in this modern world, and that there is no way that a poor little Christian boy, like me, could knock on the door of one in authority, or one in a high position in life, or the super rich, and share Jesus with them. PLEASE Lord, knock on our heart’s door again today and help us to totally surrender our life to You. For there is no reason for a royal son of the most high God/King, should be afraid of approaching any of our siblings to remind them of all that the Father has in store for those who truly believe in Him. The world is saddened by the recent deaths of stars, but the Word says that if they never met the Master, then their disappointments in life will only worsen. We all need Jesus, and without You Lord, we are a miserable people. Please revive those who claim You as Lord, and awaken the hearts and souls of those who need to know You personally. May today be the day of salvation for many who are unsaved. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

Your Decisions Will Cost You

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 18:5-6 (NLT)

TEXT:   5Paul spent all his time preaching the word. He testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.”

OBSERVATION:   Paul was a very patient evangelist of the Gospel of Christ. He had a passion for reaching the lost, and also those who allowed other teachings to hide them from the truth of the Gospel. However, he was a very smart man, and one who was closely in tuned with the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore Paul realized that he could not force anyone to believe on the name of Jesus, so he allowed God to direct him when to move on, so that the people would feel the absence of the Savior. This is still very prevalent today, so let’s dig deeper into this.

APPLICATION:   One of the most joyous occasions in a church is to help welcome a new pastor to serve at your church. For those who dig in and work along with the pastor to accomplish the work of the Lord in His local church, one of the saddest events in a church is when a pastor feels compelled to leave your church. Way too often, it’s for reasons very similar to the scenario faced by Paul, for the people are steeped in tradition and refuses to accept the love and preaching from men who, they feel, don’t fit the mold of their personal ideals for a ‘perfect’ pastor. Unfortunately, this could mean that in spite of their gentle heart for the Lord and His work here on earth, yet the man presenting the gospel is a mortal man, and this is often reflected through his casual talk; the friends (church members) that he hangs out with during his downtime; the jokes that he uses to help demonstrate or illustrate the story being preached that day; and the casual dress throughout the week is even being brought into the pulpit. However, he has a passion for the lost; he is a student of the Word of God and faithfully communicates with God about His perfect will for your church. Friends, these same pastors leave our church because of silly things that hurt them and their family, and they go on to another church where God is at liberty to work through them to reach the people of that community. Often these pastors brush the dust off their feet when they leave your church – the dirt of distrust; lack of communication; lack of acceptance and cooperation; excessive gossip about them and/or their family; refusal to allow God in and use you as part of the ministry at your church. Oh that we might remember that we are all equal at the foot of the cross. While here on earth we should be preparing ourselves, with the help of God, to see our old selves changed into the likeness of God as we prepare for that day when we will see Him face to face. Our time here should now be spent getting rid of old habits and the tricks we played on people that hurt them so badly. Our time should be spent in developing an attitude like that of Christ, and getting along with all men and women, even those that the world might look at and wonder why do we bother. Friends, I wonder if the blood of others may not sometimes be upon our shoulders it we had a part in steering them away from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, it is so challenging to live here on earth and imitate You in every way. Often we find many excuses and reasons why we can’t, but Lord I humbly plead that You would melt our hardened hearts so that we might see our old selves with its flawed character, step aside as we assume the life that You have given to us and demonstrated for us. People need the Lord. They need to see You. They need to hear from You. If that’s not happening through us, then please teach us to step aside and not be a stumbling block to those You are trying to reach. I pray that You might be able to use me Lord, but I would rather Your will, not mine. To God be the glory, for all that You will accomplish! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

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